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SAW Alive
Photo: Thorpe ParkAlive: n. Having life, vigour or spirit.

In Short

SAW Alive is an obvious follow up to 2009's successful SAW - The Ride; a year round, live action horror maze offering varying levels of scares on the old Thorpe Belle.

Note: from the 2012 season, SAW Alive will only open during Fright Nights (in October). Please check with the Park for more details.

Fact File

Opened 2010 Manufacturer In House
Ride Type Live Action Horror Maze Official Rating Extreme Thrills
On Ride Photo Yes Fastrack Yes
Throughput 600 people/hour Age rating 12+

Photos

Pre-2010 - the old Thorpe Belle:

First floor of the Belle Ground floor of the Belle Overview of the Belle

Today - SAW Alive:

View from SAW - The Ride End of the boat Ride entrance
Queueline SAW themeing Entrance to the boat Warning signs

TTP Review

SAW Alive opened in 2010 due in no small part to the runaway success of SAW - The Ride the previous year. It is a year-round live action horror maze housed on the old Thorpe Belle steamboat. Much like the annual Fright Nights mazes, guests have to form a conga line of between 6 and 10 people and walk through the attraction together. Actors and special effects lurk inside, bringing to life some recreated scenes from the films and hoping to scare the living daylights out of you.

So how does the maze fare? Firstly, credit must be given to the effort that has gone into the attraction in terms of theming. The outside of the boat looks fantastic (and very in-keeping with the theme of the roller coaster), and the rooms inside are very detailed and authentic. Six areas feature in the walkthrough, with one trap from each of the first 6 SAW films depicted in each area. The attention to detail is admirable; the toilet scene smells like a toilet, the blood splats all over the attraction look realistic, and the freezer room really is quite cold. The make up on the actors is also highly believable. Thought has gone into some innovative ways of scaring guests; visitors are subjected to a shaking floor at one point, and have to walk through an "electric corridor" (which is not actually electrified, due to H&S rules...). Even the pre-show is nicely done; a militant SWAT team worker abandons guests whilst they watch a recorded video message from Billy alone.

Where this attraction falls down is that it bills itself as a "horror maze", but aside from the visually grotesque scenes contained within, it's really not particularly horrifying. Comparisons must inevitably be drawn with Thorpe's Fright Nights mazes, and against these, SAW Alive undoubtedly has the best theming, but unfortunately offers fewer scares. A few actors jump out at you and follow you around, but the maze just doesn't offer the same level of chaos as say, The Asylum does, or the same level of pure anxiety as say, Experiment 10, does. Considering that the Fright Nights mazes are temporary, and that SAW Alive is a permanent attraction, this is disappointing. It was also quite a short experience, taking only about 2 or 3 minutes to get through the whole attraction. By no means a bad addition to the Park, SAW Alive could be vastly improved with more of a focus on out-and-out scares, rather than relying on the (admittedly excellent) scenery alone.

Positives:

  • As with SAW - The Ride, SAW Alive is very well themed.
  • Capitalises on the popularity of the yearly Fright Nights mazes.
  • Some uncomfortable/grotesque scenes!

Negatives:

  • Not as jumpy, intimidating or intense as other Fright Nights mazes.
  • A short experience.
  • The "on-ride" photo taken of each group at the start of the attraction comes across as money-grabbing.
Verdict:
Themeing/Presentation OneOneOneOneZero
Smoothness/Comfort
N/A
Enjoyment/Fun OneOneOneZeroZero
Intensity/Scariness OneOneOneZeroZero
Overall OneOneOneOneZero

Your Reviews

"Went in this yesterday with my 10yr old son. He voiced my own opinion when we came out - LAME - and this was the first horror maze type thing either of us have ever been in. To a generation brought up on Dr Who and Primeval a few actors jumping out at you and touching your neck isn't likely to thrill."
Nick, Milton Keynes, UK.

"Having seen all the SAW films I thought nothing in there would scare me! WRONG!! I clung on and buried my head in the back of the girl in front of me! I was physically shaking with fear and cried! The actors do an amazing job of jumping out and scaring you, so I can't comment on the scenery 'coz I didn't open my eyes! 10/10 but you wouldn't get me in there again..."
Katie, Southend, UK.

"Considering my friends told my most of what would happen inside, I thought it would be lame, predictable etc. No. I actually thought I was dying/dead/dreaming because it was so freaking scary. Messes with your mind!"
Taylor, London, UK.

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